Guide on How to Prepare Your Boat for Sell

14 Steps To Sell You Boat Faster and For More $$$$$

(A few simple tips that will help sell your boat)

  1. Get rid of clutter: Nothing makes interior spaces of a boat smaller than clutter. Remove all unneeded gear, clothes and personal items. Clean out food, plastic cups, paper towels, as well as toiletries if you’re not living aboard.

  2. Clean the bilges: Many Buyers immediately inspect the bilges visually; many times their wives will walk away from a boat after “inspecting the bilges” with their noses. A bilge with a nasty smell will turn off buyers. Sometimes pressure cleaning is needed.  A separate 110 volt dehumidifier that drains directly into a sink is an excellent way reduce smell, mold and mildew without having to run the boat air conditioning.

  3. Give your boat curb-appeal: First impressions are always important, even for your boat. A few things that will help your boat give a strong first impression: 1) recent waxing, 2) recent bottom cleaning, 3) repaired canvas, 4) neat dock lines, 5) clean fenders.

  4. Make electronics work: Many times electronics that aren’t working can be fixed very simply (for example a blown fuse). If, for any reason, electronics are not working on a survey, it sends the wrong message to a buyer and may reduce the value greater than the cost for the repair.

  5. Set your boat apart: Most boats on the market today don’t have a recent survey. No only will a survey give you an idea of what isn’t working on your boat, but it is something your broker can boast on your boat’s listing. A recent survey on your boat gives you instant credibility.

  6. Make sure your oil is clean: If you have an older engine, high hours or no working hour meter, doing oil samples makes a lot of sense. It’s a great way of pre-selling the fact you’ve taken excellent care of your engines, and will allow you to have peace of mind during survey. If you do change the oil, make certain to put at least 10 hours on the engine in order to give a valid oil sample.

  7. Take care of the small things: A few small checks that will go a long way: 1) top off all fluids in the engines, 2) clean/replace filters, 3) check belts, 4) start engines, 5) flush the heads, 6) turn on the A/C, 7) turn on the genset.

  8. Test your sea cocks: It’s one of the first thing a surveyor will check, and while a very easy fix, better to not show faulty sea cocks on a survey.

  9. Empty the holding tank: If it is a saltwater flush, put freshwater in the head when done using the boat. A drop of bleach is also a good idea.

  10. Make the galley shine: The galley will get a lot of attention from a Buyer’s wife or girlfriend. It’s a good idea to clean the stove, wipe down the microwave and clear out the refrigerator.

  11. Make the beds: A clean bed can make your stateroom much more inviting. Make up the beds with fresh sheets and spreads. Neatly arrange pillows.

  12. Change the light bulbs: Make sure lights work, especially in the engine room. Changing light bulbs is a cheap fix, and shows all the details are tended to one your boat.

  13. Display your cushions: Your boat’s flybridge and cockpit look much more appealing when the cushions are displayed. It also makes storage areas look much bigger when they are empty.

  14. Show-off your books: Log books, maintenance logs, copies of major repairs all should be on the boat. This helps answer a lot of questions up front and shows potential buyers that you have nothing to hide.